What do you get the kid who has four dolls, plays with them regularly, but ALL their accessories are imaginary? An empty box full of 'baby clothes'?
What do you get the kid who basically wants to be read to ALL day long, in a house already bursting with books? A paid drama student to read to her with all the appropriate voices?
What do you get the kid who has an older sister so there's one of everything she could want in the house already? Tea set - check. Dolls house - check. Blocks, books, dolls, puzzles, mini-kitchen etc - check.
What do you get the kid who has everything she needs really, but must have something to unwrap on her birthday morning right?
What do you get the kid who's currently a tyrannical torturous tantrummy tot with VERY SPECIFIC notions of what she does and does not like? A gift voucher? Ha ha ha.
I was at a dead loss until a few days ago when she declared, out of the blue, that she'd like a sword for her birthday. To fight dinosaurs, monsters, big frogs for mummy, baddies and dragons - in that order I think.
So my question really is: would it be so wrong to get her a sword? Obviously not a proper goblin-made one, I can see how she doesn't quite have the fine motor control for that, but a nice hippie Waldorf one?
My mother is horrified, presumably at the notion of giving a 3 yr old a weapon. Husband is not supportive, declaring rightly so that a wooden sword can still inflict a lot of damage - namely to her sister.
But I'm more than a little tempted. I think there's something empowering about it, I like that she's casting herself as the hero in this particular imagining. I like that a sword can be a prop for an expanding selection of games including knights and vikings, intrepid explorers and swashbuckling adventurers.
Aren't we always told that the princess fantasy is a weak one, playing the victim waiting for a knight to swoop in and rescue the helpless maiden? Aren't we encouraged to teach our daughters they can be anything, they can be the rescuers, they can hold the power? Would there be as much objection to a boy wanting a sword for his 3rd birthday?
A year ago I'd have rejected the idea of giving a 3 year old a sword purely on the basis that I believe you don't give children weapons. But now, as she talks about her sword daily, and her birthday approaches, I'm not so sure.
What do you think?